Is My Child Too Sick to Attend Practice

Sick pooch in bed

A child who has a cold or flu can be challenging.  Parents may ask themselves, “how sick is too sick to attend practice?” Usually making this decision is a no-brainer, but parents may experience times when they question if they should or should not send their child to sports practice during an illness.  In some sports, it is crucial that your child attend practice as often as possible to support the team, maintain their endurance and to remain knowledgeable about changes to plays and routines.  

Here is some information that may help you make the right decision:

First and foremost…if your child was too sick to go to school then they are too sick to go to practice. Please keep them home.

FEVER

GO TO PRACTICE:

Your child is good to go if their temperature is below 100.4°F, is doing well with drinking fluids and doesn’t seem to have change in personality.

NO PRACTICE:

Your child should stay home if their temps rise above 100.4°F. A feverish child is not only considered contagious, but  is also probably not feeling well enough to learn or participate. Keep child home until he/she has been fever-free for 24 hours and is feeling like their usual self.

 

HEADACHE

GO TO PRACTICE:

A child with a minor headache doesn’t usually need to be kept out of practice.

NO PRACTICE:

If the headache is more severe or is accompanied by other symptoms, such as raised temperature or drowsiness, then keep child out of practice and consult your pediatrician or general practitioner.

 

COUGH AND COLD

GO TO PRACTICE:

A child with a minor cough or cold may attend practice.

NO PRACTICE:

If the cold is accompanied by a raised temperature, shivers or drowsiness, the child should stay home.  Visit the GP and return to practice 24 hours after they start feeling better. If your child has a more severe and long-lasting cough, consult your GP. They can give guidance on whether your child should attend practice

 

VOMITTING

GO TO PRACTICE:

If your child has only dry heaved once within the last 24 hours and he/she is not at risk of dehydration, they may attend practice.  

NO PRACTICE:

If your child has thrown up more than two times within the last 24 hours, it is best to skip practice. Also keep an eye on dehydration. He/she may be fighting an infection and should stay away until antibiotics are taken and wait for at least 24 hours.

 

RED EYES

GO TO PRACTICE:

When your child’s eye is a little pink, he/she may only have an irritation to a small object in the eye or has common allergies in which he/she can attend practice.

NO PRACTICE:

If you see a bright red area in the whites of your child’s eyes with yellow or green discharge, keep them home.  Your child may be fighting conjunctivitis and should not return  until your child has been on antibiotics for 24 hours.

 

DIARRHEA

GO TO PRACTICE:

If your child’s stool is slightly loose and doesn’t use the restroom frequently then your child is good to go. Your child may have consumed too much fruit juice and the stomach is releasing some of that content.

NO PRACTICE:

If your child is going more than three times within a few hours, he/she may be fighting an infection. Just like vomiting, keep an eye on dehydration. Also if there is blood or mucus in the stool, please stay home and consult your GP.

 

SORE THROAT

GO TO PRACTICE:

Many children experience a sore throat and runny nose. As long as they do not have a fever, swollen or red areas in the back of the throat, send them off.

NO PRACTICE:

If the sore throat is accompanied by fever, redness, swollen glands, headache or stomachache, keep your child home. It may be a good idea to go get strep tested by your doctor. It is recommended to take antibiotics and wait 24 hours to join practice or class.

 

STOMACH ACHE

GO TO PRACTICE:

If this is the only symptom your child is feeling, they may attend practice.

NO PRACTICE:

Stomach aches that are accompanied by fever, vomiting and diarrhea should make a trip to the doctor. A sharp pain coming from the stomach may be severe constipation, appendicitis, or bowel obstruction.  Consult your GP.

 

RASH

GO TO PRACTICE:

A conservative way to approach rashes is to consider all of them contagious until proven otherwise. Once you have proven them to be NOT contagious then they may attend practice.

NO PRACTICE:

If the rash covers a large portion of the body, the rash is on the face and the eyes become swollen, the child is extremely uncomfortable or unable to sleep, or signs of infection occur, such as pus or soft yellow scabs.

 

BOTTOM LINE…

Use common sense when deciding whether or not your child is too ill to attend practice.
Ask yourself the following questions.

  1. Is my child well enough to do the activities in practice? If not, keep them home.
  2. Is my child contagious? If so, keep them home.
  3. Would I take a day off work if I had this illness? If so, keep them home.

 

Disclaimer: This is not intended to take the place of your physicians advice. Please do not use this as your only guide in making your decision regarding your child but as a helpful guide from GRG.

 

***Some of the Information gathered above is from “Is my child too sick for school” by Suzanne Schlosberg which is pediatrician approved by Tanya Remer Altmann, M.D.

 

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